Lucy Wyndham-Read

How to Cut Down on Sugar and Reduce Belly Fat

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how to reduce sugar from your diet

How to Cut Down on Sugar and Reduce Belly Fat

We all know sugar is a factor in weight gain and something to be conscious of in our food choices. What isn’t so well known is that sugar is often hidden away in foods that are presented as ‘healthy’ and ‘good for you’. My 10 tips for reducing your sugar intake address the obvious but also the hidden sources of sugar and offer you some advice on how to reduce your intake.

Tip 1:- Stop adding it to your coffee or tea, and that includes any syrups. A great alternative is to have herbal teas instead.

Tip 2:- Be smart when it comes to cereals. These are often the worst offenders when it comes to hidden sugars, as they may scream ‘healthy’ on the packaging, like for example, wholegrain, organic, natural, high in vitamins, gluten free but these can be high in sugar. Just because it says it is wholegrain or the like, it doesn’t mean that it’s not high in sugar. You are better off going with something like plain oats, and then adding in your own flavourings, such as blueberries, almonds and seeds.

Tip 3:- ‘Healthy snacks’ are now everywhere! Just like the cereals, these healthy snacks can be so misleading. I know of several big influencers on social media within the health and fitness industry that have launched what they call healthy snack bars, but these again have a high sugar content, in many cases more than a bar of chocolate. So I guess the key here is that you do need to read every single food label carefully, even if it claims to be healthy!! One particular energy ball by a well known health influencer has – are you ready for this? – double the amount of sugar of a Krispy Crème doughnut. As a trainer I think this is so misleading, and it actually is heart-breaking for the people out there doing their best to make health choices but being misled so much.

  • Good quick healthy natural snacks would be:-
  • Handful of strawberries and some cashew nuts.
  • Hot cup of almond milk with some added cinnamon.
  • A few dates (this is like nature’s toffee).
  • Stewed apple with a few sultanas.

TIP 4: Eat more fat (good fat this is)

When we consume lots of sugar in our diet it actually makes us crave more and increases our appetite, which then leads to weight gain and less energy. So instead focus on consuming more healthy fats in your diet, and protein, because this will help reduce hunger and manage your energy.

Example of a high sugar lunch (this lunch will cause weight gain, and an energy crash about 1 to 2 hours after eating it):

  • White bread chicken mayonnaise sandwich 
  • Granola bar
  • Low-fat fruit yoghurt

Example of a healthy lunch (this lunch will boost your energy and sustain it without causing weight gain):

  • Brown bread chicken salad sandwich with mashed avocado and tomato
  • Carrot sticks and hummus
  • 1 Pear and several almonds

TIP 5:- Eat more vegetables than fruit. Even though fruit is natural, it can still be high in sugar – especially dried fruit. So, when you can, always opt for veggies over the fruit bowl.

TIP 6:- Water. We have heard this so many times, but it is so true: keep drinking the pure clear stuff. This will help keep you more alert and awake, and often when we feel tired we reach for sweet sugary temptations, so prevent that from happening by sipping on water throughout the day.

TIP 7:- Have your ‘go-to’ sweet treat. I am the first to admit I have a sweet tooth, and over the years I have learnt how to substitute for it. And something I do is take a small pot of cream cheese, mix in a little cinnamon, then spread onto a banana. This hits all the right spots for me and it tastes delicious. So do some research and find your favourite sweet treat that you can make yourself.

TIP 8:- Okay, this one is straightforward. Instead of a spoonful of sugar, have a spoonful of determination and discipline. It may be hard for the first few days, because sugar is very addictive, but when you start to cut back it does become easier.

TIP 9:- Visualize the benefits of cutting back on sugar. Picture how much better you are going to look and feel. Also keep in mind that sugar is a big cause of wrinkles, so cutting back on this is going to greatly improve your skin.

TIP 10:- Is simply that you are sweet enough as you are. And sugar is definitely not that sweet, as it can cause so much damage to our bodies.

Finally, don’t forget to keep your body moving – exercise is great way to strip off belly fat.

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